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Does the US concept of boundaryless career also apply in France?


  • Peterson Jonathan

    (CERGAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherche en Gestion d'Aix-Marseille - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - UTLN - Université de Toulon)

  • Alain Roger

    () (Centre de Recherche Magellan - UJML - Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Lyon)


The purpose of this paper is to examine how the boundaryless career, a concept developed within the United States, also applies within a French context. To do so we examine the career histories of 30 managers (16 in the United States and 14 in France) concerning the extent of their boundarylessness. We utilize a qualitative method through semi-directive interviews and dual coding to understand how individuals approach their professional pursuits. We build upon the theoretical basis of the boundaryless career, as proposed by Arthur & Rousseau (1996) and Sullivan & Arthur (2006). The literature seldom deals with the application of the boundaryless concept within non-US contexts. Our results show that within our French population, the boundaryless career concept co-exists with the traditional career model, with indications that French managers are willing to move within a company, but are reluctant to inter-company changes. Cultural influences and social structures tend to influence this trend through legal and social statutes. The paper concludes with general contributions and suggests avenues for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Peterson Jonathan & Alain Roger, 2013. "Does the US concept of boundaryless career also apply in France?," Post-Print halshs-00872439, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00872439
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

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